Four The Win: Your Brand On Foursquare

By Barry Hott "Why would I create a Foursquare page for my brand when we don't even have any retail locations?" is a common opinion when a brand is considering which social media channels to focus on. It's true: if you don't have a retail location, you don't need to manage venue information, promotions, or tips. But there's still plenty you can do on Foursquare to enhance your brand.

Foursquare users rely on Foursquare tips for suggestions of where to go and how to have the best experience at that location. Your brand can be part of that experience by creating a free Foursquare brand page. With your brand page, you can begin adding tips to venues anywhere in the world.

Think about your brand. What defines it? Who uses it? You should use Foursquare tips to show that to your fans and to potential fans. The goal isn't to sell; don't come off as spammy or sales-y, just be helpful. Be a guide. If you're a local business, be a source of the best spots in your town. If you're an international brand, provide the inside scoop of the hottest venues in the world.

The tips exist in three places on Foursquare where users can find them: each venue's page, your brand's page, and any lists that you create. Setting Foursquare tips is a great way to exhibit your brand's style and voice that requires little management, has virtually zero cost, and will last forever (read: as long as Foursquare exists and remains relevant).

When you place a tip on a venue, your tip is contributing to not just that venue's list of tips, but also your brand's. You're curating a list of places that relate closely or loosely to your brand. When someone looks at your Foursquare brand page, they can see what your brand cares about. You can post tips on scenic locations that inspire your brand, stores that sell your products, espresso shops that fuel your employees, places where customers might enjoy using your products, or any other place that your brand might relate to.

History Channel leaves historical tips on landmarks. MTV and Bravo leave tips from their celebrities on hot spots. Louis Vuitton leaves classic detail tips on luxurious places. Lucky Magazine leaves shopping tips on cool and trendy stores. The Brooklyn Museum exhibits their staff picks of favorite local restaurants, bars, and cafes. All of these tips help fans of the brands find great places, but also help non-fans visiting those venues to see their tips, making them more aware of the brand.

Many (dare I say 'all') of the best venues in and around New York City have a tip on them from The Corcoran Group. The Corcoran Group has curated an impressive set of thousands of tips on a wide variety of venues - few of which have anything directly to do with real estate. They've also put together some very useful lists, such as The City's Best Hot DogsGrab a Great Iced CoffeeThe Coolest Pools in NYC, and many more. They realized that they don't need to use Foursquare for selling homes and apartments, but rather help people living in those neighborhoods find great things to do and eat, all while exhibiting how knowledgeable their brand is about the city.

Get your brand a Foursquare page and add some tips and you'll see the value increase with time, while the cost remains free. Start asking your coworkers and employees for recommendations, and before you know it, you'll have a great list of places that your brand can be proud of. Just remember to make the tips helpful and not solely about your brand, and you will be successful.

What places should your brand leave tips on?